Sarkozy advisor lashes out after 'racism' charge

10th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - A senior advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday lashed out at a star French philosopher who accused him of being racist, describing the writer as a "pretentious little shit".

10 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - A senior advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday lashed out at a star French philosopher who accused him of being racist, describing the writer as a "pretentious little shit".

Henri Guaino, an influential ally and speechwriter to the president, was quoted as making the comments on the French webite Rue89, after the philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy singled him out for attack in a radio interview.

Government spokesman Laurent Wauquiez told French radio Wednesday that Guaino had been responding to an "insult".

"Pretentious little shit, well you need to consider what Henri Guaino was reacting to, he was reacting to the fact Bernard-Henri Levy had called him a racist," he said.

Levy rounded on Guaino on Tuesday for writing a speech delivered by Sarkozy in Dakar in July that suggested African culture, rather than colonialism, bore chief blame for the continent's underdevelopment.

"Guaino, he's a racist.... He's the one who wrote this vile speech...," Levy said, repeating the charge several times.

The writer stressed that Sarkozy, who "himself is not a racist", must have "discovered the speech on the plane".

In the Dakar address, Sarkozy said "The African peasant only knows the eternal renewal of time, rhythmed by the endless repetition of the same gestures and the same words.

"In this imaginary world where everything starts over and over again, there is no place for human adventure or for the idea of progress."

"Never does man reach out towards the future. Never does it occur to him to end the cycle of repetition and invent a destiny for himself," he said.

The speech was attacked as "insulting" by some African media, as well as by the head of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, who said he was "disappointed" with Sarkozy's vision of Africa.

AFP

Subject: French news

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